Linearizable Quorum Reads in Paxos


Aleksey Charapko, University at Buffalo, SUNY; Microsoft, Redmond, WA; Ailidani Ailijiang, Microsoft, Redmond, WA; Murat Demirbas, University at Buffalo, SUNY; Microsoft, Redmond, WA


Many distributed systems/databases rely on Paxos for providing linearizable reads. Linearizable reads in Paxos are achieved either through running a full read round with followers, or via reading from a stable leader which holds leases on followers. We introduce a third method for performing linearizable reads by eschewing the leader and only reading from a quorum of followers. For guaranteeing linearizability, a bare quorum read is insufficient and it needs to be amended with a rinse phase to account for pending update operations. We present our Paxos Quorum Read (PQR) protocol that implements this. Our evaluations show that PQR significantly improves throughput compared to the other methods. The evaluations also show that PQR achieves comparable latency to the read from stable Paxos leader optimization.

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@inproceedings {234735,
author = {Aleksey Charapko and Ailidani Ailijiang and Murat Demirbas},
title = {Linearizable Quorum Reads in Paxos},
booktitle = {11th USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Storage and File Systems (HotStorage 19)},
year = {2019},
address = {Renton, WA},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul,